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Old January 24, 2023, 01:55 PM   #1
cdoc42
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Cold blue stainless steel?

I have a blued barrel on a .22-250 A-Bolt/BOSS-muzzle brake and I received a BOSS replacement that is stainless steel and not a muzzle brake.

Can I cold blue the stainless steel device?
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Old January 24, 2023, 03:00 PM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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No, you can't. There are "blackeners" for stainless, but they don't work well. You can paint it with one of the gun paints, but it won't hold up on a brake.
You could send the brake off for nitriding, or learn to live with the stainless.
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Old January 24, 2023, 09:09 PM   #3
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IMO a stainless barrel and blue receiver look good together.

I have a factory Ruger like this. Looks good to me.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...t=0&ajaxserp=0
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Old January 24, 2023, 10:42 PM   #4
cdoc42
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jmr40, I can agree with you. I have a Winchester model 70 blue receiver with a Hart stainless barrel in 25-06. But I'm talking here about a blued barrel with a stainless BOSS device on the very end.
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Old January 25, 2023, 12:19 PM   #5
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The cold stainless blackeners, as Bill said, are not impressive. Charcoal gray color at best. That said, it may be you'd be satisfied just to reduce the contrast a bit. But don't expect it to match real bluing.

In addition to those, there is a hot blacking salt solution that may work better. I haven't tried it, personally, but if you do, I'd be curious to learn what you think of it. A lot of trouble to go to, though, if you don't do hot bluing now.
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Old January 25, 2023, 04:44 PM   #6
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Not an expert by any definition but it may be time to mention there are many compositions under the term stainless steel and many chemical reactions, such as discoloration i.e. cold blue, depend on actual composition.
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Old January 25, 2023, 04:48 PM   #7
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Yes. If you follow the link I put up, they name the various series of SS the chemistry works with.
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Old January 25, 2023, 05:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice, but I should have waited a bit longer before starting this thread. If you travel over to the rifle thread labeled BOSS you'll read that my blue question related to having received, at no charge, an accidental (free) shipment of a BOSS that will more likely fit my 7mm RMAg, not the .22-250 I was after. That has immediately been resolved by the Browning staffer who advised he will send the .22-250. Since both are free of charge I now can play with the non-brake on the 7mm as well. Sorry for jumping the gun, so-to-speak, but any information offered in this format is worthwhile to someone!!
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Old January 26, 2023, 09:46 AM   #9
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Better to paint it. Shake 'n bake!
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Old January 26, 2023, 11:19 AM   #10
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Powder coat??
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Old January 26, 2023, 08:03 PM   #11
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Free correctly colored version from the manufacturer? Doesn't get better than that.
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Old January 26, 2023, 08:35 PM   #12
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This is a bit off the thread intent, but I have recently been impressed by the responsiveness of the reloading equipment manufacturers to inquiries about parts and availability. One quickly resolved an error in a part I purchased and two sent me replacements for parts that had worn out, all at no charge.
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Old January 27, 2023, 01:25 PM   #13
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Stainless steel does rust. Not exactly the same way carbon steel does, but it does rust. StainLESS, not "stainfree".

Different alloys do it differently and take different amounts of time, and conditions but it can happen.

Where I used to work used quantities of "nuclear grade" stainless. Shop stock was stored outside on racks. It was all a uniform rusty brown on the outside, but only on the very outside surface, and that rust was a protective layer, once formed, it never went deeper into the alloy.

Theoretically since bluing is a controlled form of rust, stainless steel could be "blued" using the right combination of chemicals and processes, HOWEVER, getting the usual "gunmetal blue" is probably unlikely if even at all possible.

Glad you got your issue resolved, sounds like the maker did right by you.
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Old January 27, 2023, 10:35 PM   #14
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Stainless can be rust-free if there is a correct formulation for the environment it is used in, and it has been passivated to remove traces of free iron left by machining or forming by steel tooling that is not stainless. Surgical tools and pins and wires and screws and joint implants won't rust inside the body, for example. The levels of salts and acids and pH values in the body are well known and not extreme, so alloys that remain truly corrosion free in that environment can be selected for them. But all stainless steels have some conditions they can't withstand without corroding.
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Old January 29, 2023, 02:15 PM   #15
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I’ve used Steel FX products on a black powder project to give a color case hardened look that cam out great. They make a product for stainless steel too, just have to try it on a spot under the grips to see if it’s something you’d want to use.
https://steelfxpatinas.com/
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Old January 29, 2023, 04:08 PM   #16
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I blued a stainless steel screw by flaming it. It looked good but it didn't last long. Some said I need to repeat the process multiple times to build thick layer.

-TL

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Old January 29, 2023, 09:31 PM   #17
Bill DeShivs
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See post #2.
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